Food for thought
Someone asked the question:
- From my basic research it seems as if the food supply is not as nutritious as it once was.
- Do you see the use of multivitamins, minerals, protein powder, antioxidants, etc as pharmakeia?
- When does something become a "drug"?
I walked by a "Natural Health" store once and looked in to see rows of plastic bottles containing pills and powders. There was not a carrot or cantaloupe, potato or tomato in sight.
Natural is defined "existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind." the truth is what is natural may be caused by humankind if humankind is adhering to the laws of nature and "Natures God".
Natures God is the God of creation and His intent was to give life. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was that in a time of affluence they did not strengthen the poor.
The truth is much of the food produced today by "humankind" is not as healthy as it could be. Soil often lacks minerals and microbes that are important to produce good nutritious foods. Also the strains of plants have often become less healthy for the consumer because of breeding, cross breeding and of course GMO.
Poor soil and alteration of agricultural produce is a product of the driving spirit in mankind. The products of our labor is the offspring of our souls. If we are selfish in the performance of the command to dress it and keep ,then the earth will not give up its bounty of health and wealth.
Feeding the soil is about caring for the creatures in the soil upon which good plant health is dependent. But it is also about environment. A tree that grows in a greenhouse where there is no wind will grow well but its trunk will often be weak and unable to develop the strength to support its own weight. The stress of the wind causes the trunk to grow thick and strong. The same is true of roots. The roots must work to find the nutrients and moisture and in doing so they become healthier.
Nature is not a welfare state. Stress in nature strengthens nature.
Someone who chews tobacco told me that it helps him cope with stress. The truth is it helps him not cope with stress. He is using the tobacco to escape from the stress without dealing with the emotional trauma caused by the stressful situation. Interaction with stressful conditions can help strengthen you as an individual mentally and emotionally but to depend on tobacco, Cannabis or other drugs rather than more natural or internal sources of strength will cause natural mechanisms to become weak and beggarly.
No pain, no gain.
Using a cast on a broken arm is an artificial way to protect a limb when it is injured. The cast will cause damage to the muscles that will begin to shrink and become weak while the cast is on. Nature tries to create its own cast by swelling and creating a sensitivity to use through pain. But there is no doubt that a cast also can help especially in the early stages of healing the same as a crutch, cane or wheelchair can help. They also can become instruments of dependence which weaken the individual at the same time they protect and provide.
If you need some external device or an additional supplement or element to help you heal or relax or just sleep then you may become dependent upon that thing. That dependence may become an addiction. Addicts who continuously and habitually give in to their addictions, will allow the addiction to grow stronger and consume other aspects of their lives. Those simple addictions are a gateway to other forms of addiction and escapism.
God put us here to face life, not escape it. Every stress is an opportunity. Seeking natural solutions is almost always better but they certainly are not our only options.
Fasting is mostly about not reaching out for all the crutches, drugs and escape instruments we use to avoid the stresses of life that are often the key to growth and even life itself.
One of the major problems with anything is the intent behind it. The problem with pharmaceutics is not that they are made by hand of humankind but the intent behind their making is not always as blessed as it ought to be.
The word pharmaceutics is from the Greek word pharmakeia which is defined as "the use or the administering of drugs" but also "poisoning". It also can have the meaning of "sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it". It became a metaphor of the ideas of "deceptions and seductions of idolatry."
People often idolize doctors and the medical industry but the truth is for all the good they can do they are also contaminated by a profit motive which will bring a selfish spirit that may taint if not poison much of what they do or even try to do.
Antibiotics, as an example, clearly can save lives but the overuse of antibiotics is both weakening the immune systems of people and strengthening the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. According to the CDC, antibiotics "May cause unnecessary and harmful side effects" and "May contribute to antibiotic resistance, which is when bacteria are able to resist the effects of an antibiotic and continue to cause harm."
So the question is what is overuse? When we overeat the evidence will literally appear before our eyes. But other addictions may be less obvious and often even more harmful.
Vaccines can give us a form of immunity but they may also weaken other major parts of our immune system.[Note: Vaccinations by-pass the normal path for proper immune processes to take place]. Then there are the other toxins in vaccines to say nothing of the fact that they are often administered to very young people in high dosages that are proving more and more to be unsafe.
- "Vaccinations are very neurotoxic and have been associated with many neurological disorders, like encephalopathies, epilepsy, convulsions, ADD, LD, autism, mental retardation, depression, anxiety, CNS disorders, paralysis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, nerve deafness, blindness and SIDS. The neurological disorders associated with vaccinations are diverse and numerous. Vaccinations lower IQ as well as contribute to the overt mental disorders and neurological diseases listed here."
When something is offered and received there is a union of the giver's and receiver's intent which is a form of communion. Someone may offer something for less than righteous purposes and someone else may receive something out of a genuine desire to do what is right. Each intent will bring in a spirit that will have an effect the outcome of the act itself.
So is the use of multivitamins, minerals, protein powder, antioxidants, etc. actually pharmakeia? They could be. What is the reason and spirit that calls you to take these things?
The truth is eating organic and striving to get the best nutrients may also be pharmakeia. Has your desire for organic food become an obsession?
There were stories of Saints who blessed the stagnant waters of their prison or even the salt water surrounding them while stranded at sea and were able to drink the water with no ill effects. That does not mean that eating good food is bad. Nor does it mean we can eat bad food and then just go to Church. We should not be feeding our tongues but wisely nurturing our body.
We should seek the righteousness of God and not temp God or fate. While we should act wisely in all things, should we put our faith in organic food or obsess over special diets to think our salvation is in something other than the Grace of God? This too is foolishness and may be a form of "sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it".
- "Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled." Titus 1:15
My diet rules of thumb in seeking health are to:
- Eat things as close to nature as possible
- Do not put anything in your mouth you cannot pronounce easily.
- Eat seasonally produced foods from local sources you know.
- Be extreme in moderation.
- "One bad apple can spoil the bunch."
The same as foods can be contaminated by what is around them so can your practices be invaded by those things you practice that are simply not righteous. Jesus was clear in Matthew 15:11 "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."
What we share with or provide to others is probably more important to our health than what we receive or consume from others. There are two kinds of Love. That which takes life and that which gives it. What blesses us more; that which we get or that which we give?
True charity is love and true love is sacrifice of self for righteousness sake. We are told to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness which will bless all we give and get from this life. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit it will alter what enters into us and that which was a curse will become a blessing for the "... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," Galatians 5:22
We think of giving as charity but charitable giving must give life. It must strengthen the body and the soul for "... though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:3
We should feed our bodies with the same spirit that we feed our neighbor. We want to depend on that spirit and not the flesh alone for the flesh will die but the spirit giveth life eternal.
- "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:16
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- Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
- Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
- "pitifully or deplorably meager or bad."
- Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
- 1 John 4:7 ¶ Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
- 1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
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